Obama sees cause for anger
“I’m tired of playing defense all the time,” Sen. Barack Obama told a bustling crowd of union members here Tuesday. “I want to play some offense.”
It’s a line the Democratic candidate for president has used many times in speaking to labor groups about worker-friendly policies. But it was particularly resonant here, as Obama continued his effort to regain political footing lost in the recent flap over his remarks on small-town America.
In recent days, the Illinois Democrat has absorbed punishing blows from the campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain after saying that some Americans were “bitter” about their fading economic fortunes and were clinging to guns and religion as result.
“If you’ve been filling up your gas tank, you’re angry,” Obama told the union members. “You’ve got to feel some frustration. You’ve got to feel some anger when you get the sense that the American way of life for so many people is slipping away.”
And, ostensibly to dispel notions that he has abandoned his earlier campaign themes, he added that such anger was “not a reason to give up hope.”
Clinton spent part of the day in Washington, speaking to a meeting of newspaper editors. There, she laid out her agenda for her first 100 days as president. She said she would begin withdrawing troops from Iraq immediately.
“In short, starting from Day One, the Bush-Cheney era will be over in name and in practice,” she said.
Clinton also said that she would ask Congress to reverse some of President Bush’s tax cuts, tackle global warming and urge Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.